We had a team away day yesterday, and in preparation I completed a Belbin self-perception inventory. We got the results yesterday and here's what my preferred roles are:

  • Implementer - Implementers are aware of external obligations and are disciplined, conscientious and have a good self-image. They tend to be tough-minded and practical, trusting and tolerant, respecting established traditions. They are characterised by low anxiety and tend to work for the team in a practical, realistic way. Implementers figure prominently in positions of responsibility in larger organisations. They tend to do the jobs that others do not want to do and do them well: for example, disciplining employees.
  • Specialist - The specialist provides knowledge and technical skills which are in rare supply within the team. They are often highly introverted and anxious and tend to be self-starting, dedicated and committed.
  • Completer-Finisher - The completer finisher dots the i’s and crosses the t’s. He or she gives attention to detail, aims to complete and to do so thoroughly. They make steady effort and are consistent in their work. They are not so interested in the glamour of spectacular success.

My least preferred roles are:

  • Plant - The plant is a specialist idea maker characterised by high IQ and introversion while also being dominant and original. The plant tends to take radical approaches to team functioning and problems. Plants are more concerned with major issues than with details.
  • Resource Investigator - The resource investigator is the executive who is never in his room, and if he is, he is on the telephone. The resource investigator is someone who explores opportunities and develops contacts. Resource investigators are good negotiators who probe others for information and support and pick up other’s ideas and develop them. They are characterised by sociability and enthusiasm and are good at liaison work and exploring resources outside the group.
  • Co-ordinator - The co-ordinator is a person-oriented leader. This person is trusting, accepting, dominant and is committed to team goals and objectives. The co-ordinator is a positive thinker who approves of goal attainment, struggle and effort in others. The co-ordinator is someone tolerant enough always to listen to others, but strong enough to reject their advice.

The main surprise is Co-ordinator being in the least preferred roles as it is a role that I tend to do quite often - even yesterday in our break out sessions, I was the one "chairing", ensuring everyone got a chance to make their point, kept things focusses etc. Maybe the key here is preferred - I do this role when no-one else does, and I like to think I do it reasonably well. Having read the completer-finisher characteristics I would say that over the years I have definitely become one of these, I am pedantic and picky and like to ensure everything is done to a high quality. My anxiety must be in a constant state of flux as the Specialist is an anxious role whilst the Implementer is a low anxiety role.

The last time I filled in one of these was about 10 years ago, during a course, and it would be really interesting to see how things have changed. I'll have to dig around at home and see if I can find it.